DNR News: Lake shoreline learning, NRC in west Michigan, grant workshops

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News Digest - Week of Dec. 9, 2019

winter trees

Here's a look at some of this week's stories from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom.

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and additional ones, are available in this folder.

Learn more about lakes and lake shoreline protection

view of an inland lake shoreline, surrounding by mature trees and wetlands area, a boat on shore

Healthy, functional lake shorelines do more than create picture-perfect views; they are critical to fish, wildlife and water quality. Fortunately, there are many things lakefront property owners can do to learn more about Michigan’s 11,000 inland lakes and the best ways to protect them.

The new Michigan Shoreland Stewards video series highlights several management practices – maintaining native vegetation, eliminating fertilizers and using “soft engineering” – that inland lakefront property owners can use to help prevent shoreline erosion, keep pollutants and nutrients out of the lake, and ultimately protect fish, wildlife and clean water.

In Michigan State University Extension’s six-week “Introduction to Lakes” online course (Jan. 14-March 13), people can enjoy the self-paced format to learn more about lake ecology, watersheds, shorelines, Michigan water law, aquatic plant management and community involvements. The course includes 24/7 access to video lectures, activities, discussion forums and ask-an-expert webinar sessions with professionals from MSU and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. Registration is open through Jan. 8.

Visit the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership website to learn about inland lake shorelines and some simple action steps:

  • Property owners can take the Shoreland Stewards Survey to see if their property qualifies for the Shoreland Stewards program and get recommendations for a more natural shoreland.
  • Those who qualify can post signs recognizing their stewardship efforts while promoting the program to lakefront neighbors.
  • The Michigan Shoreland Stewards Ambassador program – open to everyone, not just lakefront property owners – provides information and resources to help people promote the Shoreland Stewards program in lake communities and be a resource for residents and a liaison between residents and lake groups.

For more information about any of these programs or resources, contact Joe Nohner at 517-284-6236.

Natural Resources Commission to meet Thursday in Comstock Park

man and little girl holding a salmon they caught while fishing from a boat

Preliminary results from this year's firearm deer season, open and closed hunting areas at Yankee Springs State Recreation Area, and statewide fishing regulations for trout, cisco, salmon and other species are just some of the agenda items for the next meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Fifth Third Ballpark Pepsi Stadium Club, 4500 West River Road NE, in Comstock Park.

Scheduled committee meetings include:

  • 10:30 a.m., Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries.
  • 11:30 a.m., lunch break.
  • 12:30 p.m., Committee of the Whole.

See the meeting's full draft agenda at Michigan.gov/NRC. For more information or to request time to speak at the meeting, contact Cheryl Nelson at 517-284-6237.

Recreation grant workshops start in January

back view of people walking along the Old Orchard Pathway

Anyone wanting to learn more about the process of applying for public outdoor recreation-related grants is encouraged to attend one of the free workshops starting next month.

DNR grant experts will visit nine regional locations from Baraga to Big Rapids and Caro to Kalamazoo, providing opportunities to learn about available grants from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Recreation Passport Grants Program, which help communities provide access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities.

In addition to the workshops, the DNR will offer two webinars Wednesday, Jan. 22:

  • 10 a.m. to noon (scoring information).
  • 1 to 3 p.m. (standard workshop). 

No registration is necessary, and there is no cost for the workshops or webinars. For more information, call DNR Grants Management at 517-284-7268. To learn more about specific grant eligibility and guidelines, visit Michigan.gov/DNR-Grants.


Enjoy the view of the full moon and night sky during a snowshoe hike 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling. A limited number of snowshoes are available to borrow.


Looking to squeeze in some hunting before the year is over? Visit Michigan.gov/Hunting to see which seasons are still open, which licenses are needed, where to hunt, and more.


Join DNR conservation officers in helping make the season a bit brighter for Detroit kids! Head to the annual Belle Isle Holiday Stroll Friday, Dec. 13, and drop off toys at the "Stuff a Truck" event, 5-8 p.m.

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